Last year, as a test, Amazon opened the grocery store Amazon Go in Seattle. The news sounds quite ordinary but this wasn’t a regular store – it didn’t have cash registers or cashiers. All visitors take what they need themselves, confirm the purchase and go out of the store.
Actually, this idea isn’t new at all. Many companies are working on “unmanned” stores and one of them is Wheelys. In fact, this startup, which initially was known for the bike café concept, is expanding – Wheelys opened an employee-free store in Shanghai. The startup hasn’t got a lot of offices, there are a few in Sweden and in Shanghai, obviously. The idea has already been tested in Stockholm, so Shanghai was the only choice for a location.
To buy products at the Wheelys 24/7 store, people will have to use a special smartphone app. The app is needed for entering the store and making purchases. Inside, there is a video surveillance system for watching over the visitors and preventing robberies. The range of products is quite typical: there are ready-to-eat meals as well as a wide choice of groceries.
According to Maria De La Croix, CEO of Wheelys, this type of store is extremely convenient. People can come in in any time of the day, even at night because visitors have the control with the app on visitor’s phone.